Informal and Formal Trail Monitoring Protocols and Baseline Conditions

Acadia National Park

This research developed and applied state-of-the-art trail condition assessment and monitoring procedures and applied them to the park’s formal and informal (visitor-created) trails.

by U.S. Geological Survey

At Acadia National Park, changing visitor use levels and patterns have contributed to an increasing degree of visitor use impacts to natural and cultural resources. To better understand the extent and severity of these resource impacts and identify effective management techniques, the park sponsored this research to develop monitoring protocols, collect baseline data, and identify suggestions for management strategies. The park has adopted the NPS Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) carrying capacity framework to guide these studies.

Attached document published May 2011

About the Author


Created by an act of Congress in 1879, the U.S. Geological Survey has evolved over the ensuing 125 years, matching its talent and knowledge to the progress of science and technology. The USGS is the sole science agency for the Department of the Interior. It is sought out by thousands of partners and customers for its natural science expertise and its vast earth and biological data holdings.

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